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High mountain glaciers and climate changeHigh mountain glaciers and climate change
Challenges to human livelihoods and adaptation Climate change is causing signifcant mass loss of glaciers in high mountains worldwide. Although glacier systems show a great amount of inherent complexity and variation, there are clear overall trends indicating global glacier recession, which is likely to accelerate in coming decades. Large gaps remain in our understanding and ability to model accurately the key processes and cause-effect relationships driving glacier response to climate change. In addition, a lot of data on glacier mass changes are not available to the public due to national interests concerning water supply.
Available online at: http://www.grida.no/publications/high-mountain-glaciers
Glacier Lake Outburst Floods Glacier Lake Outburst Floods
Cumulative frequency graph of GLOFs in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. The best-ft line suggests an increase in GLOF frequency through time, although older events may be under-reported. GLOFs also took place in Patagonia, Chile in 2008 and 2009 (Dussaillant et al., 2010)(From Richardson and Reynolds, 2000).
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Glacier volume change forecasts Glacier volume change forecasts
Oerlemans et al. (1998) conducted modelling experiments for a sample of 12 glaciers and ice caps, to determine volume changes under a range of temperature and precipitation forcings (Fig. 3). The range of glacier response is very wide, so a key issue is fnding ways to upscale the results of modelling this tiny sample of glaciers to large regions. Figure 2 shows the results of two alternative weighting procedures. Although the absolute values o...
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Southern Asia natural disasters between 1975 and 2004 Southern Asia natural disasters between 1975 and 2004
Overview of natural disasters in Asia between 1975 and 2004. Floods account for a very signifcant proportion of the disasters observed.
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Glacier cumulative mass balance Glacier cumulative mass balance
Compilation of available data (Fig. 1) shows that most mountain glaciers are losing mass, and that the overall rate of mass loss has increased in the last decade. For the last decade the highest mass loss per unit area has been observed in the European Alps, Patagonia, Alaska, and north-western USA/south-western Canada (Kaser et al., 2006, Lemke et al., 2007, Arendt et al., 2009).
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Regional flood vulnerability Regional flood vulnerability
Since Asia comprises a large portion of the World’s popula- tion, and more than 40% of all the foods in the world occur in Asia, a large number of people are affected by disasters (Fig. 14). More than 40% of the people killed by natural di- sasters are killed in Asia (Fig. 15). In the ten-year period from 1999–2008, 402 foods were recorded in Africa, 342 in the Americas, 259 in Europe and 649 in Asia. In the same time period close to 1 bill...
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Seasonal patterns of precipitation and runoff Seasonal patterns of precipitation and runoff
The infuence of glaciers on seasonal distribution of river fow is strongly dependent on annual temperature and precipitation cycles, and the proportion of the catchment occupied by glacier ice. Figure 4 compares precipitation and river fow data for heavily and lightly glacierized catchments in the European Alps and Peru. In the European Alps, runoff is greater than precipitation in summer in both heavily and lightly glacierized catchments. This...
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Qanat Qanat
A qanat is a water management system used to secure reliable water supply to human settlements or irrigation in semi-arid and arid regions. Probably originating in Persia, the qanat system has been adopted and developed further in large parts of Asia and Europe. Its widespread use is refected in the many names for the system and similar systems; kariz/kahan (Persian), khettara (Morocco), galeria (Spain), falaj (United Arab Emirates and Oman), ...
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Glacier recession and expansion in Hindu Kush-Himalayas and Central Asia Glacier recession and expansion in Hindu Kush-Himalayas and Central Asia
Averaged over their entire areas, within the period 1960– 2003 glaciers in Patagonia and Alaska have thinned by ap- proximately 35 m and 25 m, respectively, whereas high mountain glaciers in Asia have thinned by over 10 m. Data for Patagonia and Alaska are computed from glacier surface elevations for dozens of glaciers. In many other high moun- tain environments such as the Himalayas and the high Andes, where data are limited due to bo...
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Victims and affected people in Pakistan flood, August 2010 Victims and affected people in Pakistan flood, August 2010
Seasonal fooding can occur along all the major watersheds in the Himalayan region (Figure 11–14). The largest problems occur in food prone areas with high population densities. This includes parts of northeast India, south-central Nepal, central and southern Pakistan, large parts of Bangladesh and lower reaches of the large rivers in China. In India around 40 million people are affected by fooding annually and the damage has been estimated...
15 Feb 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Salzach river discharge, Austrian Alps Salzach river discharge, Austrian Alps
Simulated contributions of glacier melt (frn/ice melt) to annual total runoff were calculated between 1 and 4%. In the period 1999–2000, when the glacier mass balance of Goldbergkees and Stubacher Sonnblickkees have been observed to be zero or slightly above zero, the annual contribution of glacier melt was calculated as 1% (Fig. 7). The highest monthly contribution in 2000 was 4% for the month of August, and the highest daily glacier melt was 12...
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Glacier shrinkage in hypothetical river basins Glacier shrinkage in hypothetical river basins
Downstream variation in the impact of glacier recession is illustrated in Figure 5, which shows modelled river fows for idealized catchments under climates representative of the western and eastern Himalaya and a 0.06º C per year warming scenario. In the upper parts of the river basins, where glaciers occupy 95% of the catchment area, the impact of glacier shrinkage is large. River discharges increase until mid-century, after which they de...
06 Dec 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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Recent flood events in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region Recent flood events in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region
Since Asia comprises a large portion of the World’s popula- tion, and more than 40% of all the foods in the world occur in Asia, a large number of people are affected by disasters (Fig. 14). More than 40% of the people killed by natural di- sasters are killed in Asia (Fig. 15). In the ten-year period from 1999–2008, 402 foods were recorded in Africa, 342 in the Americas, 259 in Europe and 649 in Asia. In the same time period close to 1 bill...
03 Feb 2010 - by Riccardo Pravettoni
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